Late answer to a very good question on distilling grammar points with a practical example.

One of the loyal readers of Huliganov.TV, Michal from Poland, has been a contributor to the lively discussion oon the Gold List Method page, and he has asked one question recently which (apart from the fact that it escaped my notice so thanfully he brought it to my attention again) contains very useful material for more GL users to consider, and so I’ve decided to make a main article out of my comment reply. First Michal’s question, then my response.

I have one more question…

For example I have following rule in English:

110 Verbs after which we should use -ing:
112 finish
113 postpone
114 consider
115 admit
116 deny

I am wondering how I should distil such rules?
For example if I know only know one verb “stop”, should I remove it from list and work with rest of verbs or should I live it on a list until i know every word and whole rule can be distilled?

Thank you!

I am very sorry, but your comment somehow escaped my notice – we can probably blame the spammers who push the legitimate comments down out of sight. I do welcome such queries.

I would lay out this rule in the headlist in full as you have done and then combine it a bit on distillation.

Using exactly your material as an example, as it is indeed a very good example, maybe for D1 you could do something like this

76 Verbs requiring an ing form to follow include the following ideas:
77 Starting and stopping and restarting (eg start, stop, finish, resume)
78 Verbs of delaying and postponing (delay, postpone, put off)
79 Verbs of admitting or denying (admit, deny)
80 Verbs of considering or enjoying (consider, anticipate, relish, enjoy)

In fact you can see that not only did I get your list which had 7 at Headlist down to 5 at D1, but also I could have got a rather larger Headlist (if you had had resume, delay, put off, anticipate, relish and enjoy in the headlist we could have got 13 down to 5 – well over the odds. What we’ve also done is added a bit of our own analysis to the matter by deciding our own groupings for the verbs. This switches the long-term memory on much much better than simple repetition, and I do recommend that approach to distilling.

Now let’s consider D2. Let’s say that you are at D2 and some of the verbs are still not sticking. Let’s say that you remembered that verbs of stopping, starting, delaying and resuming are in the rule and you remembered each of the verbs in those groups, but didn’t fully remember the others, then your D2 might look something like this:

56 The -ing following rule applies to verbs of stopping, starting, delaying and restarting
57 Also to admitting and denying
58 Also considering and enjoying (anticipate, relish)

We’re now down from 5 to 3, and we haven’t really lost that much information

From then on you might find you remember it all in D3 and can just drop the whole thing, or keep the entirety of what you’d like to keep in the system on a single line.